One Piece And Naruto Manga Authors Share Tear-Jerking Messages On Toriyama’s Death

Eiichiro Oda and Masashi Kishimoto considered Toriyama their God and got very excited when he called them his friends.

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Dragon Ball creator and manga legend Akira Toriyama was an inspiration to many artists, creators and manga authors throughout the world. Two of them include Eiichiro Oda and Masashi Kishimoto, the creators of One Piece and Naruto. They have shared their love and appreciation for Toriyama many times in the past but on this day, they share heartwarming messages after hearing the news of Toriyama’s passing.

Eiichiro Oda considered Toriyama as his God. He has openly stated that he’d re-read Dragon Ball frequently to try imitating Toriyama’s drawing style before One Piece was even a thing! In another occassion, he recalled Krillin’s death at the hands of King Piccolo and claimed how this was bigger than any real-life news during his school days.

In the following message, Oda shares a very special memory of him and Kishimoto getting really excited when Toriyama referred to them as “friends” and showered full praise onto the man, wishing well for his journey to heaven.

“It is too early. The hole is too big. Sadness washes over me when I think that I will never see him again.

I have admired him so much since I was a child. I remember the day he called me by name for the first time, the day you used the word “friend” for me and Kishimoto, I remember being overjoyed with Kishimoto on the way back home. I also remember the last conversation we had. He was one of those who took the baton from the days when reading manga made you a fool, and created an era when both adults and children could enjoy reading manga. He showed us the dream that manga can go global. It was like watching a hero going forward. For not only manga artists but also the creators in various industries, the excitement and emotion of the time of Dragon Ball serialization must have taken root in their childhood.

His existence is like a big tree. For the manga artists of our generation who stood on the same stage, the closer I got to Toriyama’s works, the more I realised that they had a greater presence. Scary. But I am just happy to see the easy-going man himself again. Because we love Toriyama-sensei on a blood level. With respect and gratitude for the creative world he has left behind, I pray for his soulful rest in peace. May heaven be the joyous world just as you envisioned it.”

(Eiichiro Oda and Akira Toriyama working together)

In a similar fashion, Masashi Kishimoto cannot express more how much he loved Dragon Ball and Toriyama. So much so he legit has a statue of Frieza in his office. In one occassion, he has expressed his desire to become like Toriyama in order to become a successful mangaka and in this actually tear-jerking message, he shares the very same desire and reminisces his days of reading Dragon Ball.

“I honestly don’t know what to write about this sudden event.

But for now, I would like to share my thoughts and feelings that I had hoped for one day Mr. Toriyama would ask me about it. I grew up with his manga, Dr. Slump in the lower grades of elementary school and Dragon Ball in the upper grades, and it was natural for me to have his manga as a part of my life. Even when I was having a bad day, the weekly Dragon Ball made me forget about it. As a country boy with nothing, that was a relief to me. I really enjoyed Dragon Ball too much! I was a college student.

Suddenly, Dragon Ball, which had been a part of my life for so many years, came to an end. I felt a tremendous sense of loss and didn’t know what to look forward to. But at the same time, it was an opportunity for me to truly understand the greatness of the master who created Dragon Ball.

I wanted to create a work like his! I wanted to be just like him! And as I followed in his footsteps to become a manga artist, I began to feel less and less lost.

It was because I enjoyed making manga. By following him, I was able to find new enjoyment. Sensei was always my guide. He was my admirer. I may be annoying to him, but I am grateful to him.

For me, he was truly the God of salvation and the God of manga.

When I first met him, I was too nervous to say a single word. But after meeting him many times at the Tezuka Award judging, I became able to talk. I will never forget the slightly embarrassed smile on his face when he and Mr. Oda talked excitedly about how Dragon Ball was fun, as if they were children again and were engaged in a competition. I just received the news of Sensei’s passing. I feel a tremendous sense of loss, more than when Dragon Ball ended… I still don’t know how to deal with this hole in my heart. I can’t even read Dragon Ball, which I love. I don’t even feel like I can write this message to Sensei properly.

Everyone in the world was still looking forward to your work. If I could really have one Dragon Ball wish come true…I’m sorry… That may be selfish of me, but I am sad, Sensei. Akira Toriyama-sensei, thank you for 45 years of enjoyable works. And thank you for your hard work. I am sure that his family members are still deeply saddened by this loss. Please take care of yourselves. I pray that Akira Toriyama-sensei may rest in peace.”

(Toriyama and Kishimoto collaborative art piece)

About Dragon Ball:

Dragon Ball is a manga series by Akira Toriyama. It first began its serialization in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in 1984.

The manga was later adapted into a multitude of animated series, movies, and games.

The franchise consists of five different anime series, about 21 animated movies, and around 10 games spanning various platforms, from Famicon to Playstation and Xbox.

Synopsis of the Dragon Ball anime:

Goku Son is a young boy who lives in the woods all alone—that is, until a girl named Bulma runs into him in her search for a set of magical objects called the “Dragon Balls.”

Since the artefacts are said to grant one wish to whoever collects all seven, Bulma hopes to gather them and wish for a perfect boyfriend.

Goku happens to be in possession of a dragon ball, but unfortunately for Bulma, he refuses to part ways with it, so she makes him a deal: he can tag along on her journey if he lets her borrow the dragon ball’s power.

With that, the two set off on the journey of a lifetime.

Source: Shonen Jump, Twitter I, II